Looking Forward to the 2020 Utah Legislature Session

January 2020 marks the beginning of a new year, a new decade, and the time in Utah when all of our thoughts turn to the impending legislative session. 

Convening on the fourth Monday in January, the 27th this year, Utah lawmakers have only 45 days to review and pass bills they believe to be the best interest of the state, and to pass a balanced budget. 

That is 45 calendar days, not business days. The time goes very, very, very fast and every minute counts. 

Utah has one of the shortest legislative sessions in the country, executed by part-time legislators whose sacrifice–as well as their families, colleagues, and associates sacrifice–make possible their service on our behalf. 

The legislature must acknowledge and balance numerous factors that reflect the increasing number and diversity of Utahns, as well as the finite resources of public funds.

This year, the work for the Utah legislature is particularly demanding as lawmakers have already opened more than 900 bills in preparation for the start of the session. This is the second-highest number of official bill requests at the time before any general session in the recorded history of the state legislature. 

While there is no way all 900 bill files will result in legislation that passes, somewhere between 550 and 600 each session do pass. This indicative of the daunting task our elected senators and representatives tackle each year. 

This year, as in all years, the opened bill files cover areas of tax policy, higher education, public education, public safety, transportation, health care, public lands, arts and culture, air quality, housing, intergenerational poverty, social services, refugee resources, the homeless, election law, economic development, protections for vulnerable groups, and much, much more. You can see the full list of requested, numbered and new bills here, as well as track particular bills you are following closely. 

At The Lockhart Group, we are eagerly looking forward to this year’s session and are busy collaborating with our clients to make Utah the very best it can be. Should you find yourself in need of a government relations expert this legislative session and through the coming year, we invite you to give us a call, or complete a contact form